When Willie Nelson became the first country artist to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize in 2015, it completed a circle for the passionate disciple of composers George and Ira Gershwin. Today, the prolific singer-songwriter releases an album of his interpretations of the Gershwins’ works.
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin features such American standards as “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and the title track. The album also highlights two duets: Cyndi Lauper appears on “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” while Sheryl Crow sings on “Embraceable You.”
“When I was just a small guy, I remember hearing all these great Gershwin songs,” Nelson says. “Ira and George Gershwin were just these fantastic writers who wrote some of the greatest songs ever.”
Nelson, who is currently on tour, will pay tribute to his Highwaymen partner Kris Kristofferson during an all-star concert in Nashville on March 16th. Two days later, he’ll headline the Luck Reunion, a daylong festival at his Spicewood, Texas, ranch held during South by Southwest.